These are the books I have enjoyed reading in the past month:
Margaret Dickinson - The Clippie Girls
If you like a good saga with strong characters and plenty of drama, then you'll enjoy Margaret Dickinson's novel, set in wartime Sheffield. It follows three sisters, Peggy, Rose and Myrtle, who live with their widowed mother and grandmother. At the outbreak of World War II, Peggy, Rose and their mothe, all become 'clippies' on the trams. Working during the Sheffield Blitz, through love, heartache, and life-threatening dramas, their courage and family bonds are tested to the very limit. Plenty of background colour, and a story that keeps the reader turning the pages.
Sheila O'Flanagan - The Missing Wife
This Irish author is one whose books I always enjoy reading. The missing wife of the title is Imogen who has planned her disappearance for a long time, finally managing to escape on a business trip to France. As the novel unfolds we learn of her troubled past and how she ended up in a marriage to controlling husband, Vince. This novel keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, following Imogen as she tries to settle into a new life in the French Basque country, where she spent time as a child. At the back of her mind is the fear that Vince may track her down, and we also follow him as he sets off on his quest to try and find her. An excellent read.
John Jackson - Heart of Stone
This debut novel was inspired by events in the life of the author's ancestor, Robert Rochfort. The book is set in eighteenth century Ireland, and follows Robert and his younger brothers Arthur and George from the time of their father's death. Robert is widowed and looking for a wife of means to give him the dynasty he desires. Soon his eye falls on young Mary Molesworth, who enters into a marriage with him filled with hope. But she soon finds that her husband is only interested in the children she can give him, and he neglects her in favour of his various mistresses. Robert and George vie with each other to create most prestigious house, and are ruthless in pursuing this. But the trouble really begins when Mary meets middle brother Arthur, who has a commission in the British army, and the two realise that they have deep feelings for each other. As the years pass, Robert becomes increasingly cruel and selfish, living up to the title of the novel - his is truly a heart of stone. The author skilfully weaves an intriguing story around the events of the era, with deft touches of historical authenticity. A satisfying read.